Grades of membership and legitimacy spillovers: Foreign banks in Shanghai, 1847-1935

Jeroen Kuilman, Jiatao Li

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we formulated and tested a theory about how heterogeneity among subpopulations affects the degree to which organizations in these subpopulations contribute to and benefit from the overall population's legitimacy. Historical data on banking in Shanghai were used. Firms in subpopulations with a higher "grade of membership" were found to contribute strongly to the legitimacy of the general population; firms in subpopulations with a lower grade of membership benefited most from legitimacy spillovers. The concepts of "fuzzy density," "contrast," and public acceptance were applied to measuring legitimacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-245
Number of pages17
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting (all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Grades of membership and legitimacy spillovers: Foreign banks in Shanghai, 1847-1935'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this